This film completely changed my view on documentaries. Produced in 2010 it follows a platoon of army rangers in one of the most dangerous valleys of Afghanistan.

I enjoyed this film for two reasons 1) It was at the time in my field of interest, back when I was a political science major the politics of war was my favorite subject, and 2) because to date it represents American troops in combat in the truest and most realistic form I have ever seen on film. The film does not try to glorify war and it doesn’t make the soldiers out to be these macho invincible super men, really they show their immaturity, and their youth despite their circumstance.

Up until I saw this I had a vague idea of what combat was like from stories my grandma told about my grandfather, or from other family members, but  until this point I will admit I had this idea that it was still “fun.” I wanted to be one of those guys with the big guns and face paint, but I realized after this film and after reading Slaughter-House Five the toll that war takes and the fear and desperation of combat. The first 5 mins alone show the juxtaposition of young men happy and hopeful to the terror of war.

This film does not dance around the subject of death; in fact it is named after a solider that was killed during the beginning of filming.

They used  sparse narration and the occasional interview. This helps rip the viewer from his or her couch into a full blown combat zone.

If you haven’t seen this film, I would recommend it even if you are not into action , or war movies. It is and it isn’t an action movie, however it is a great representation on the risks our armed service men and women face will over seas.


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